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Preventing Harassment in the Workplace

As a small business owner, it is your duty to ensure that your employees have a safe and confidential way to report workplace harassment. Additionally, it is your duty to ensure that employees are aware that harassment is prohibited. By investing in an effective harassment prevention strategy, your business can ensure they are creating a safe and harassment-free workplace. Ultimately, the best way to deal with workplace harassment is to avoid it in the first place. How do you do this?

· Have a written zero-tolerance policy - A policy would clearly state what harassment in the workplace is and the consequences of violating the policy. If there is no policy in place, how are employees supposed to know what is expected of them? It would be important to add a statement regarding there being no retaliation against those who report harassment.

· Establish and communicate a protocol for handling harassment complaints - Employees must be informed on where they need to go and who they need to talk to when there are harassment questions or concerns. If possible, it would be crucial to designate one person outside an individual's management chain that can receive harassment complaints.

· Conduct regular compliance harassment training - Training must be provided to employees at all levels of the organization. To build a safe culture, there must be awareness among the employees. In these videos, you can train and educate your employees on how they can be proactive bystanders in these situations.

· Investigate any complaints quickly and thoroughly - Once you are aware of a harassment complaint, it would be important to investigate immediately. You should speak with the complainant and the person accused of harassing them. Additionally, you should consider speaking with individuals that could be potential witnesses to the situation.

· Maintain utmost confidentiality - It is important to ensure these investigations are tightly sealed and only those involved should be the ones that are aware. Additionally, it would be important to communicate the importance of confidentiality to those being asked questions to ensure the news does not spread like wildfire across the facility.

· Educate management - Managers can often pick up or catch onto behaviors before it is even reported and ultimately, it is their duty to act on what they are witnessing. Managers must understand their responsibility to stop, address, and prevent harassment.

As a business owner, if you want happy and healthy employees, you must take any measures you can to ensure you create a safe culture and promote respect in your environment. IT is important to ensure you have a clear policy in place that employees can refer to understand definitions and how to report. Additionally, it is critical to conduct annual training to ensure that all employees are present and receiving the information. Next, it is important to investigate reports quickly and maintain the utmost confidentiality. Lastly, management should receive additional training to ensure they can effectively identify and address any harassment they may witness or hear about.

The HR Trail is an innovative and HR solutions provider for small businesses! Our innovative approach is called, HR Without Borders™. Our mission is to support the needs of both the organization and the employees as they build a stronger and more united workforce together, sharing a common vision and goals. HR Without Borders™ approaches negative and limiting perceptions of Human Resources at a core level. This allows organizations to successfully grow and expand opportunities for their team. This proven approach also empowers employees and increases employee satisfaction while eliminating burnout. Connect with us on our website at LinkedIn:

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